Dales farm operates with hydro-power thanks to grant

Jamie McEwan and Mark Corner by the water as it rejoins Backstone Gill after having gone through the new hydropower turbine.

A remote farmstead in the Yorkshire Dales National Park has begun operating a hydro-electric generator, with support from the national park authority’s sustainable development fund.

Kingsdale Head Farm – midway between the villages of Dent and Ingleton – was awarded a grant of £26,000, which covered about a third of the cost of the installation.

The fall of spring water down a ghyll behind the farmhouse is being harnessed to create electricity for the farm and its diversification projects, including a holiday let and an education room.

Electricity is also being fed into the National Grid sufficient to power a further three homes.

The hydro started generating electricity in June.

Jamie McEwan, conservation and farm manager at Kingsdale Head since 2020, said: “The hydro gives us options as to how we develop the farm business. It’s been an expensive project, so it wouldn’t have been possible without the sustainable development fund.”

“One of our big opportunities is to invite people up here to share what we are doing.  The hydro scheme is part of the story for the farm and it’s something we can talk to people about.”

Seven members of the national park authority visited Kingsdale Head last week to learn about ‘nature recovery’ on the 600-hectare largely moorland holding.

The authority’s member champion for the natural environment, Mark Corner, said: “We have been pleased to support conservation work at Kingsdale Head Farm for many years now.

“What’s so impressive is the long term commitment to farming in a way that is helping to bring back nature, as well as the warmth of welcome given to groups looking to learn about sustainable land management practices.

“We are delighted that the sustainable development fund has been able to assist the business. This year, we are hoping to support a further 15 projects that benefit local businesses, communities and the environment. I would encourage people to get in touch if they have a project idea.

“The SDF is just one of several funding schemes that we have available – and we can help people find the right package of support.”

The sustainable development fund – which can support a wide range of projects – is currently inviting fresh applications and has £155,000 to award in the year to next March.

Anyone interested can contact the sustainable development fund by phone – 01969 652337 – or by email – SDF@yorkshiredales.org.uk.

There is also the SDF webpage where people can download the application form and guidance notes and read about past projects.


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